Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting

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Pastures new

And she madeI mentioned quite a while ago that I’ve been wanting to move to a self-hosted blog space and change the Street Style Wales name. Well, the time has finally come. You may have guessed by the name of this post that I’ve finally done it. I’ve moved to I’ll be posting the same content as I’ve been posting here, plus a little extra, so nothing much will change, although a change is as good as a rest, as they say.

I started Street Style Wales as a university project in 2011, although I’ve been blogging in total for eight years (!). The content has changed so much since that time, plus I’m not always in Wales these days, so the name hasn’t really suited the blog for a while. It took me sooooooo long to come up with the name but I got there and now I’m excited for the next stage of my blogging journey.

I don’t take any of my followers for granted and so I would really appreciate it if you could all follow me over to the new space. If you’d like, you can add my blog to your Bloglovin reader by clicking here, or update your other readers (WordPress etc). I’ve imported all the old posts over there so you can still find all the content you’re already used to.

So here’s to pastures new. So long Street Style Wales, it’s been a blast!

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By Hand London hack: Turning the Anna dress into a skirt

DSC_0797 editedYou all know by now how much I love the By Hand London sewing patterns. The Anna dress is a firm favourite, with its beautiful A line skirt. Having made quite a lot of dresses lately, I thought it was about time I mixed it up and made something different. I really love the shorter skirt from the Anna dress and it’s a great length for wearing to work, so I thought, why not make it into a skirt of its own?

I was lucky enough to be given some fabric remnants from the sewing editor at work and managed to cut out the skirt pattern using pretty much all of the fabric (I had to be quite crafty with my cutting skills). I altered the waistline and added in a shorter zip and here you have it, one Anna skirt.

I followed my normal size but somehow the skirt ended up being far too big, so I had to bring it in quite a bit. The length is great and I really love the print so overall it’s a really lovely skirt to wear, but next time I’ll definitely be a bit wiser when cutting the strips and measure my waistline correctly.


The dream Ruby dress

This dress, the Simple Sew Ruby dress, was a dream to make. It only took a few hours to sew up and, like my previous experience of Simple Sew patterns, the instructions were really easy to follow.

This dress was actually a freebie with Love Sewing magazine but it’s such a great make that the magazine rereleased the pattern a few months ago. I got mine on its original run but stashed it away for a future make. Recently I found some fabric I didn’t have a use for and, on a break from another sewing project, I decided to make it.

I’m glad I did as I really love the shape of the dress and it has a great circle skirt. One major thing I’d change (and should have done differently this time but I didn’t have enough fabric) is lengthen the skirt considerably. I really don’t like the dress length at all and even in the drawings it appears to be short. I think that’s even why I didn’t use the dress pattern straightaway. Looking at these photos I think next time I’ll also lengthen the bodice. I wonder whether other people have felt the need to lengthen the pattern?


I’m definitely planning to make more Rubies, especially as they’re perfect for the hot weather that we’ve been having lately! I guess next time I’ll order far more fabric to be able to make these changes.

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Currently lusting after

Ahh, Pinterest! The bane of my life crafter’s best friend!

I thought it would be nice to include an occasional round-up of what I’d like to make, considering Pinterest plays a huge part in inspiring my sewing choices. So here’s the first one. There’s definitely a theme going on too by the way. This summer heatwave has got me dreaming of exposing as much skin in my makes as is morally possible.

All credit goes to the original websites. The images were found on Pinterest. Click the pics for the links!

Backless dresses


I just love the colour of this dress and the sweet circle skirt. This one is hopefully in the planning already.


This one is really nice too. I love the lilac colour and the bow is a little less obvious than in the first dress so is more wearable.


A deep v-neck back will always make my heart a-flutter and I adore Republique du Chiffon‘s patterns already. This one’s definitely a winner!


A special mention goes out to the above which isn’t a backless dress, but is very wearable during the summer. And I adore the picnic blanket feel of the dress overall.

Loose fitting garments



I’ve grouped these together as I can imagine making an amalgamation of the three. I really like the buttons on the first one, the pockets of the second and the colour of the third, but they’re all great loose-fitting dresses.


The floral print, the gathered skirt and the straps all make this a lovely dress. I also love the longer skirt and will be replicating this (in a floral cotton obvs) soon, complete with a midi skirt I think.

Open-back tops


An open back blouse is the perfect casual wear in this hot weather and this one would be great made up in a lighter colour.


I love this tiny pocket tank pattern hack, especially with its beautiful back detail. I think this would work really well in a floral print.

What do you think? Have any of these inspired you too?

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A dress that Pinterest inspired


If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember I posted about a quirky rabbit print fabric a while ago that I didn’t know what to do with.

The pin that started it all

The pin that started it all

After scouring my DIYs and Crafts Pinterest board, I remembered a tutorial I’d pinned ages ago for a V neck dress. The tutorial was for a maxi dress, but I don’t wear maxi dresses that often, so I shortened it quite easily. The whole tutorial was pretty self-explanatory and called for four rectangular pieces of fabric according to your measurements. Sounds easy, right?

I did have to make some adjustments, mainly to the arms and top, as otherwise the dress would have swamped me (it still needs a belt to give it some shape otherwise it kind of looks like a tent). I brought the arms in a bit, so the dress would have less of a cap sleeve look and brought the top in quite a bit too, but all in all, I really love this dress. It’s so versatile and has a nice drape thanks to the viscose fabric. I also love the V neck shape. And best of all, I can slip it over my head so no need for a pesky zip. Yay!

Anyone else use Pinterest tutorials for ideas? I’d love some more inspiration!

Also, sidenote: the belt was given to me by my Dad who wore it as a 13 year old!!



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A blue floral Emery dress


I feel like my sewing style is very samey at the moment, but to be perfectly honest, I’m enjoying making fit and flare dresses and tops, as that is what I wear most of the time anyway. Therefore it makes sense to me to add them to my wardrobe. There are definitely more Emeries to come soon too. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t anything different in the making either. I’m currently planning a Francoise and another pair of trousers soon. And that’s after the next few dresses I have to post about.

This Emery is the wearable toile I made in preparation for my friend’s wedding and the first Emery I ever made (I’ve made three more since then). I used the same fabric as one of my peplum tops: a really lovely fabric from Ebay with a slight stretch.

I’ve mentioned my love for the Emery before, but I just find this style so easy to wear and it’s really classic. I have actually passed this version on to my Mum as she loved the fabric more than I did and loves wearing bright colours. So yep, more Emeries to come. Please stick with me for a while.

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Simple A line skirt

Before I came back to London for work, I whipped up a simple A line skirt out of some remnant fabric I got from a favourite fabric shop of mine in Wales. This is the result.

I always knew I wanted to make a skirt out of this fabric. It’s a lovely, quite thin, tweedish material, which wasn’t the greatest to work with to be honest. However, I persevered and it just so happened that I had some grey lining material in my stash and I, who literally HATES to line anything, actually lined this one.

As I didn’t follow a pattern it isn’t the greatest skirt in the world. There’s a bit of bunching in one corner and I want to redo the hem, but overall it’s ok and I’m not a perfectionist, so I’ll happily wear it until I fix those niggles. I also wish I put pockets in it. I did cut them out but plain forgot to put them in until I’d sewn the sides. Oh, the trouble with self-drafting.

Things may be a bit quiet here for a few more weeks but I’m hoping to schedule some posts soon. In the meantime, enjoy the lovely weather we’re having at the moment. I certainly will be.

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The green gables dress


Can I firstly just say I love everything about this dress? The style is perfect for me, it fits really well and I love the fabric. Since making the birthday dress last year, I’ve wanted to use the Vogue V8723 again and, although I mixed it with By Hand London’s Elisalex here, it’s not quite the same as making the full version.

I think the skirt in this version is slightly less gathered than in the birthday dress, but I think I almost prefer this version as it feels more wearable. It actually looks quite weird in the below photos (and I promise I have hemmed it properly), but in reality it looks ok.

Since I made it before Christmas, I don’t actually remember what it was like to sew up but I’m sure I’d remember if it was a nightmare. Plus, I always think that sewing something the second time around is easier, as you’ve made the notes/adjustments you needed to the first time.

The fabric I used is from one of my favourite fabric stores on Ebay, but I’ve seen it in other places too. Here‘s the link. I love its colour and it really suits the pattern. I’m so happy with the way this dress turned out and I know I’ll wear it again and again!

IMG_7219 IMG_7220

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Easy DIYs: Ombré bunting necklace

IMG_4768A bunting necklace is a perfect last-minute gift for your Mum this Mother’s Day. The project is easy and doesn’t take too much time. As long as you have what you need, you could probably whip it up in an evening.

What you’ll need:


Sample paint cards (in any colours you choose)

Thick black or white thread

Jump rings



Scrap paper

A pin

To make:

1. Cut out a triangle shaped template using your scrap paper. Use this to cut equal triangle shapes from each of the paint colours.

Paint cards make perfect ombré necklaces and are easy to find

Paint cards make perfect ombré necklaces and are easy to find

2. Lay your triangles out as you wish. Take the pin and make a small hole in the two top corners of each triangle (be very careful when you do this – I found it easier to lay the triangles flat on a piece of paper while doing this).

It's a good idea to work out where you want your triangles to sit before attaching the jump rings

It’s a good idea to work out where you want your triangles to sit before attaching the jump rings

3. Open the jump rings with your pliers and attach one through the left hole of the first triangle and the right hole of the last triangle.

4. Attach the jump rings to the other triangle corners, making sure that each ring goes in front to back and connects two of the triangles.


5. Once they’ve all been connected, measure the thread against your neck. Cut out two equal pieces that will attach to the jump rings at the end and tie up behind your neck.

6. Tie each thread to the end jump rings and tie to your neck. Ideally, you’ll need to tie a tight enough knot that the necklace doesn’t fall off, but loose enough so that you’ll be able to undo it.

There are plenty of variations on this necklace. You could pick up a few different coloured paint cards and make a colourful necklace, or cut different squares and attach jump rings vertically, like below.


If you’ve liked this post, please make sure to comment and follow. I also have a Facebook page here, if you want to keep up to date with me there.

More easy DIYs can be found here.


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Craft talk: Gemmipop Designs


For a while now I’ve been wanting to expand the blog to feature interviews with crafters among other things. I’ll hopefully be making this a regular series and want to feature all types of crafty people. Today it’s the turn of Gemma from Gemmipop Designs, who talks about her foray into crafting and her work in general.

Gemma runs a jewellery shop on Etsy, a blog and has a very aesthetically pleasing Pinterest page. Her work mostly consists of laser cut jewellery and features plastic deer necklaces, hedgehog earrings and floral framed brooches. All her work is made in her workshop in Shropshire. Follow Gemma on Twitter for more information.


Gemma’s work is inspired by colour and she chooses her textiles accordingly

When and how did you first get into crafting?

I always enjoyed crafting. My gran taught me to knit when I was seven, but even before that my perfect day was spent cutting up crepe paper and cardboard! I started sewing when I was around eighteen, and picked up the knitting needles again around the same time, but I didn’t start crafting seriously until my early twenties when I started my degree in applied arts. I specialised in Jewellery and Metalwork and, although I work mostly in laser cut acrylic now, my love of textiles still features strongly in my work.

How would you describe your work?

I think of myself predominantly as a jeweller, so my work is mostly wearable, but generally the material I’m using dictates the outcome. I like the design opportunities you get with laser cut acrylic, and the tactile qualities of textiles, so I’m very much led by the materials at hand.

What is your favourite piece?

I think I’ve been most pleased with my range of frame brooches, which incorporates acrylic and fabric. It was an idea I worked on in metal at university, but it never quite worked until I tried it with acrylic. I have used vintage and retro print fabric, and well as vintage embroidered linens and I’ve always loved the outcome!


A selection of Gemma’s framed brooches, available on her Etsy shop

Who or what inspires your work?

I find inspiration in all sort of places – I love colour most of all, so I’m always led by that when I choose materials. I make an effort to visit as many art galleries and museums as I can, as I think it helps me to think outside of the purely crafty box!

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I am working hard re-stocking my shop after a very busy festive season, but I’m working on some exciting new designs in my sketchbook too.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to sell their work?

Starting my business was the best thing I’ve ever done, but it is unbelievably hard work. I am fortunate because I have my shop to keep me motivated, but I think it’s very hard if you’re trying to do it alone. I would say find some other local crafters and try to keep bouncing ideas around.

Thanks Gemma! If there’s a particular craft you’d like to know more about, or if you’d like to feature on the blog, then please get in touch.

All photos courtesy of Gemma Manning-Bentley